Apple Employee Fired For Thinking Different

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Vol 35 Issue 07

Signed 8x10 Of Tony Danza Draws Millions To Brooklyn Dry Cleaner

BROOKLYN, NY—An estimated 12 million people from some 90 nations are descending en masse on Dimitri's Dry Cleaners on Flatbush Avenue to drop off their dry cleaning and gaze upon the autographed photo of actor Tony Danza that hangs in the store's window. "To think that the proprietors of this establishment have met and may actually be close personal friends of actor Tony Danza, star of Who's The Boss? and Going Ape!," said Kentaro Kagemoto, one of the estimated 200,000 Japanese citizens to make the pilgrimage to Brooklyn to view the framed 8x10 glossy. "I must have my suits dry cleaned here and here only."

Area Insurance Salesman Celebrates 14th Year Of Quoting Fletch

VALLEJO, CA—At a gala luncheon featuring Bloody Marys, steak sandwiches and steak sandwiches, area insurance salesman Marty Cutler celebrated his 14th year of quoting lines from the 1985 Chevy Chase film Fletch. "All I can say is, 'Using the whole fist, doc?'" Cutler told the many guests who have endured his quips over the years. The 31-year-old Cutler, who arrived an hour late for the luncheon, explaining that "a manure-spreader jack-knifed on the Santa Ana," has quoted Fletch an estimated 241,500 times since first dropping lines from the film into conversation in November 1985. Upon learning that the event's $100-a-portion Beluga caviar had run out, Cutler, who also goes by the name "Dr. Rosenrosen," dead-panned, "Never mind, just bring me a cup of hot fat and the head of Alfredo Garcia."

Doctors No Closer To Cure For Old-Person Smell

BALTIMORE—Doctors at Johns Hopkins University announced Monday that after years of research and millions of dollars spent, no progress has been made in the fight to cure Old-Person Smell. "Sadly, we still are no closer to eliminating OPS," team leader Dr. Bernard Houchin told reporters. But it is our solemn vow to lead the fight against this strange, kinda-stale smell for as long as need be, until no elderly person's family or friends have to experience that weird, sorta-medicinal, sorta-uriney odor ever again." Added Houchin, "What is that smell, anyway?"

Bar Mitzvah Marks Local Boy's Passage Into Materialism

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI—Thirteen-year-old Joshua Nussbaum of Bloomfield Hills became a full-fledged consumer Saturday upon the event of his Bar Mitzvah, the traditional Jewish ceremony and subsequent extravagant catered affair that marks a boy's passage into materialism. "From this day forth, I shall acquire wealth and goods in the venerated tradition of my fathers," Nussbaum said during the five-hour, $18,000 reception, which featured a live band, a professional balloon-animal artist, and a video retrospective of his life on a big-screen TV purchased for the occasion. Added Nussbaum, who collected more than $21,000 in Bar Mitzvah gifts and cash: "Today, I am a consumer."

Snacktime Made More Fun

ORRVILLE, OH—The national pastime of eating delicious, reasonably priced snack-food items between meals was made more fun Monday, when the J.M. Smucker Company introduced Smucker's® Super-Snackers. The new product, which differs from ordinary Smucker's® Snackers due to the inclusion of new "Magic" Color-Change Sprinkles, is expected to propel already-soaring national snacktime-fun levels to unprecedented heights by mid-spring.

I Don't Want To Call Any Special Attention To Myself

Some people are always trying to be the center of attention. They want everyone to look at them and listen to what they have to say, no matter how insignificant their point may be. Well, that's not me. I don't need to call any special attention to myself.

Senator Hillary?

Last week, Hillary Clinton said she would give "careful thought" to running for a U.S. Senate seat in New York. What do you think about the prospect of a Senator Clinton?
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Apple Employee Fired For Thinking Different

CUPERTINO, CA—Brent Barlow, 27, a software analyst and beta-tester at Apple Computer headquarters in Cupertino, was fired Monday for "thinking a little too different."

A 1998 photo of Apple software analyst Brent Barlow, who was recently fired for "thinking too far outside the box."

Apple spokespersons said the firing was necessary because Barlow "consistently failed to adhere to the normal standards of conduct and daily routines expected of employees of Apple Computer."

Among the floutings of convention cited in Barlow's Apple employee file: developing a pulley system to store his mountain bike above his workstation, listening to Bob Dylan on his headphones while testing software, and taking barefoot walks around the Apple campus to "feel more connected to the creative energy of others."

"It's okay to think outside the box," said Avie Tevanian, Apple senior vice-president of software engineering. "In fact, we very much encourage that sort of thing here at Apple. But in Mr. Barlow's case, he went just a bit too far."

Barlow was first written up in September 1996, when he was cited for "unprofessional and inappropriate personal modifications to his workspace." In addition to taped-up pictures of Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein and R. Buckminster Fuller, Barlow painted a large red question mark on the side of his monitor, scanned and displayed a non-approved desktop screen image of Jim Henson, and replaced his computer's trademarked Apple system beep with a snippet of the John Lennon song "Imagine."

"I like to explore problems from unusual angles," said the ponytailed Barlow, cleaning out the desk he has occupied since joining Apple in 1995. "And being in a free-form environment of my own creation really helps me get in the right frame of mind."

Barlow's most recent formal write-up came last Thursday, when his team supervisor caught him doing a headstand.

"I was stuck on this bug I discovered in the new Mac OS X system software that Apple's developing. No matter what I tried, nothing worked," Barlow said. "So I thought to myself, what I need to do is turn my whole approach to this problem upside-down. And what better way to do that than by standing on your head?"

In an effort to prevent such incidents of "excessive iconoclasm" in the future, Apple has developed a manual outlining the company's rules and regulations regarding individualism. Permitted will be such unorthodox activities as removing shoes when seated or within four feet of a desk; whistling when given prior written permission from a direct supervisor; and kicking puddles, provided the kicking is conducted during one's lunch hour and the puddle is one of the 35 on the Apple campus specifically designated for such a purpose. Prohibited will be such "gratuitously idiosyncratic" behaviors as singing out loud, flying kites and catching butterflies.

"Of course, we want our employees to be individuals and 'do their own thing,' so to speak," Apple director of corporate communications Michael Landau said. "But Mr. Barlow's behavior consistently crossed the line. If he wants to think that different, he can do it on his own time."

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